Fall Soup for Summer

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's finally Fall.




....at least, technically.  Here in L.A. it's felt a bit more like this...
Image via LA Times

I'm throwing temper tantrums.  I'm whining. I'm asking every time we enter our air-conditioner-free home, "Why is it still so {insert curse here} HOT!?!"

This is a soup to eat for those blessed days when it cools down to around 80 degrees.  It looks like Fall and tastes just slightly of Summer, so you won't feel weird eating it during a heat wave.  Just trust me on this one.  Ginger and carrots and apples are good for you, and when blended together in soup they make you feel like you're in a fancy restaurant, because only in fancy restaurants do you eat such obscure foods all at the same time.  

Best part? It's pretty delicious eaten cold, too.


Carrot Apple Ginger Soup
adapted from Joy the Baker
(side note: I still suck at taking pictures of food, so if you're someone who needs visuals check out JtB's pictures here)

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated on the fine side of a cheese grater
  • 1 small apple, peeled and sliced (I used granny smith, but any kind will do)
  • 4 to 5 cups sliced, peeled carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  
  2.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for one minute. Add sliced apples and diced carrots and cook for 3 minutes more.
  3. Turn flame to medium-high and add vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil.  
  4.  Reduce flame to low and simmer, uncovered,  until carrots and apples are softened, about 30 minutes.  Remove pan from the flame and let cool slightly for 10 minutes.
  5. Blend the soup in batches in a blender. Only fill the blender about halfway, otherwise hot soup will explode everywhere.  Keep lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape.
  6. Once all of the soup is blended, return to the pot.  If consistency is too thick for your taste add a bit more vegetable broth. Add nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper to taste. I recommend serving with a fresh french loaf, some herb butter and an ice-cold glass of chardonnay... 'cause it's still balls hot.


Meet Dany*!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We adopted this little ball of love last Saturday.  She's was super sick when we got her, but with a little bit of antibiotics and lots of spoiling she has turned into one of the sweetest and most affectionate cats I've ever seen!  We adore her!



*Dany is short for Daenerys. Ya feel me?

Recipe: Pasta for Grown-Ups

Tuesday, September 18, 2012










 

Fact: Atkins would never fly in our house. 

We. Love. Carbs.

We eat pizza at least once a week and pasta is a staple.  

We are perfectly fine with just cracking open a bottle of Ragu and boiling up some spaghetti, but now at then we want to feel a little less...er... college. This is a perfect recipe for those times.  It's got a good mix of spices and vegetables (very un-collegiate) but is still quick and easy because, well, it's still pasta.  Happy grown-up eating!

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice (I used Cajun's Choice Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 pound Fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste

Instructions

  1. Learn from my mistakes: Chop your veggies ahead of time! I know it's boring.  Go ahead and drink some Maker's Mark if you need to.
  2. Cook pasta al dente according to directions on box.
  3. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning over cubed chicken.  Toss well to coat evenly.
  4. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon butter over high heat in a cast iron skillet or deep stainless steel pan.  Brown chicken cubes on one side, then flip to brown until chicken is cooked all the way through.  It's okay if the chicken is slightly blackened. Remove with a slotted spoon
  5. Add the remaining olive oil & butter.  When hot, add bell peppers, garlic, and onions.  Sprinkle with remaining Cajun spice.  Cook over high heat until peppers are soft & slightly blackened.  Add tomatoes and cook for 30 more seconds.  Remove vegetables and set aside.  
  6. With the pan still on high heat, add the white wine and chicken broth.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.  Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cream.  Cook until cream thickens the sauce (about 5 min.)  Ad cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. 
  7. Finally, add chicken and veggies to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
  8. Top with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!
P.S. This week has been crazy hectic but we have a very exciting update that I'm hoping to post about soon! Stay tuned :)

Our Wedding Part II: The Ceremony

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Ty and I noticed when we were planning our wedding that so much thought and effort goes into making the reception fun and beautiful that often the most important part of the day gets overlooked- the ceremony!  That is what a wedding is all about, after all, right?  We got married in the outdoor oak grove of a church right down the street from Tyler's house.  It was beautiful exactly as it was, but nonetheless I semi-freaked (okay, or totally freaked) about the details... who would sit where? How would we keep flowers from wilting? How could we make sure the bridesmaids and I weren't seen before the ceremony started? ...and on and on it went.

But as the ceremony started and I walked down the aisle I truly did not notice anything besides Tyler.  I had no clue who was there. I totally forgot about the flowers until I saw pictures of them later.  I didn't even notice the fact that it was 243 degrees (at least not until communion when sweat started dripping profusely down my legs.)  Tyler was all that I could focus on, and all I could think about was the fact that he was about to be my husband.

We were SO blessed to be married by our dear friend, Brad.  He and his wife Olivia were Tyler's youth pastor's in 6th grade, and Ty also got to live with their family in Chicago last year.  They have been such an amazing support to us, and we really believe that their presence in our lives is and has been such a tangible showing of God's Love and Grace.  Plus they have the cutest kids on the planet. (Prepare yourself: photos of Flannery and Asher will come in a later post and will probably make you wither up on the floor from all the sweetness.  It happens.)

I felt God's hand upon us so strongly throughout the ceremony- from my bridesmaids praying over me beforehand, to watching my cousins light a candle in memory of my mom, to taking our first communion as husband and wife, to saying our vows that we wrote for each other.  Forgive the overabundance of photos in this post- I can't help it!
















































































 (that last one is one of my favorites.)

Thanks for reading!

-Amanda